Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011 Natal Days Festival, Part 1: July 28-Aug 1, 2011

It's that time of year again. For the 116th summer, the five day celebration of Halifax's founding and three-time mayor, Alexander Keith. rolled into town for a funstravaganza that is unrivalled in the Maritimes. It's kind of sad to admit, but Natal Days seems to be an even bigger event in Halifax than Canada Day.

As a special treat, the HMCS Montreal was open to the public on the Waterfront. I didn't go on it this year, because the lineup was huge, and I was rushed to get to my next event. However, regular readers will remember the Navy Centennial was celebrated here last year, and I boarded the HMCS Athabaskan then. I suspect this ship looked very similar from on deck.

From here, it was time to head to the Public Gardens for the annual Mayor's Tea Party.

There was a live swing band, poppin' out the tunes, and plenty of dancing going on. However, it must be said I was a bit out of my demographic...

I didn't pay any attention to my age though, for there were cookies to be eaten and they weren't going to eat themselves.

This being the United Nations Year of the Person of African Descent, a gospel concert as well as a hip-hop concert were put on in the Central Commons. All total, there was about 8 hours of music, and I know some of these people stayed for the whole thing. I hope they put on some sunscreen.

Of course, what would a holiday be in Halifax without fireworks? After the concert, at 9:30 PM, the best fireworks show I've ever seen in Halifax was launched. Only 150 or so metres away in a ball-diamond, the low level fireworks boomed like thunder as they lit up the sky just over our heads.

After the first fireworks show, I rushed down to the Waterfront again to see what was supposed to be the best Bridge fireworks show ever, or at least that's how it was billed. I'm certain it would have been too, if I could have seen it. A colossal planning error meant no one on the Halifax side of the harbour could actually see the fireworks. Furthermore, the show was so far away that I could barely hear them either. It was a disappointing way to end the day, but I made sure to show everyone around my pictures from the Commons fireworks show to let them know what they missed.

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